Starting in January, mothers who give birth at Rochdale Infirmary will have to buy £5 tokens from machines in the maternity ward, which can be exchanged for a pack containing 10 bottles of formula and nipples.
There are no facilities to allow parents to bring in and make up their own powdered formula.
Nor can they bring in their own ready-made formula, sterile bottles or nipples as the hospital can’t take responsibility for storing them due to the risk of contamination.
Not providing complimentary formula will save the Pennine Acute Trust, which runs Rochdale Infirmary, about £30,000 a year.
The Trust has told staff that it is ‘not fair to subsidise costs for women who choose not to breastfeed while women who choose to breastfeed receive no financial support,’ but denied that the move was because the hospital is working towards achieving a Unicef Baby Friendly standard.
Moms who deliver between January and March, will be able to ‘borrow’ milk if they don’t have money for tokens.
After March that option will not be offered, as the Trust is planning a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the change.
I really don’t understand what the big deal is here. Even if a mom cannot breast feed, £5 is not an outrageous amount of money to pay for formula if you need it.
After all, they will need to continue to buy it in order to feed their baby.
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